There are different types of activities and places to explore when you visit a city for the first time. Some people might judge it by the beauty of its historic buildings and museums while others will focus on its restaurants and nightlife. Beyond what you think is relevant or important, one thing is clear, there is no better way to get a proper sense of a city than by visiting a local flea market, and every Sunday in Bogotá there are two amazing markets that you cannot miss!
San Alejo Flea Market
Address: Carrera 7 # 24 -70
Phone: +57 (1) 2831073/2815615
Hours: Every Sunday and bank holidays from 9am to 5pm
Quick tips: Bring plenty of cash and a shopping bag, also keep an eye open for live auctions!
Founded in 1987 and located in a big parking lot in the City Centre, this market is proud to hold the highest concentration of antiques in Colombia for 10 consecutive years. With more than 300 stands, San Alejo’s Flea Market has become the go-to option for collectors and antique enthusiasts from all over the world. San Alejo Flea Market gathers more than 500 artisans, booksellers, restorers, toy sellers and historians, among many other specialists, with all sorts of artifacts and collectable articles willing to tell you the story behind them! These are my 3 picks of places you cannot miss:
To buy books:
Check out stand 012 and you will meet Maria, who has a wide collection of old books and first editions of long time classics! This spot is perfect if you are looking for affordable books to practice your Spanish
Rare display of toys:
If your parents got rid of your old boxes of toys when you were away, then this is the right place to bring up those fun memories, from Barbie dolls to stuffed animals and superheroes, stand 112 has all the toys you can think about.
Vintage articles for decoration:
If you are looking for some decorative pieces or you like repurposing old stuff, then stands 015 and 153 are the ones to go to and keep in mind that bargaining is totally acceptable!
This place is very popular, therefore it tends to get crowded by noon, so it is better if you can arrive earlier than that. Also keep in mind that it is only open on Sundays and Mondays when it’s a holiday and because of the Ciclovía (a weekly event where the main roads and highways become exclusively for bicycles and pedestrians), it is quite hard to reach it by car, click here to check the best ways to arrive.
Usaquen´s Flea Market
Address: Between Carrera 6 and Carrera 3 and Calle 116 to Calle 121
Phone: +57 (1) 2831073/2815615
Hours: Every Sunday and bank holidays from 10 am – 4 pm
Quick tip: Don’t forget to bring plenty of cash.
Usaquen’s Market is unlike any other Flea Market, mostly for two reasons. First, it is not located in just one area. In fact, it sprawls all the way through the old town of Usaquén. And second, all the things you can buy there are brand new. If you have the chance to venture around the neighbourhood of Santa Bárbara, you will encounter the beautiful neighbourhood of Usaquen and its colonial houses turned into high-end restaurants (click here to see the best 10 restaurants in Usaquen). Founded in 1991, it’s safe to say that Usaquén’s Flea Market is the biggest in the city. It gathers around 120 artists and entrepreneurs willing to showcase their work to local and foreign buyers interested in seeing unique pieces full of creativity and innovation.
Please keep in mind that Usaquen’s Flea Market is very big and is not all located in just one place. I recommend you start on the main square and walk all the way down Carrera 6 to Calle 121, where at the end of that street you will find a parking space with some really nice food shops where you can try some coffee goods and Colombian desserts. Take a walk all the way up towards the mountains where you will see a City Parking sign on Carrera 3 with Calle 119. Inside that parking space, you will find a fruit stand with all the rare local fruits that Colombia has to offer. Ask for a tasting platter and try them all, trust me you will love it!
Please keep in mind that arriving earlier is always better, especially if you are thinking of bringing your car. If you are planning on coming to Usaquén after mid-day, the best option is to take a taxi or an Uber and ask the driver to drop you off on Carrera 7 and walk a few blocks towards the market.
No matter what you are looking for, if it’s old or new, food or presents to take back home, one thing is certain, you won’t leave either of these two places without buying something! I strongly encourage you to explore the city on a Sunday and visit these flea markets in Bogotá to discover everything it offers!
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